Director of Financial Aid

Carson-Newman University is a Christian, liberal arts-based University built upon the Lordship of Jesus Christ as evidenced historically and revealed in the Scriptures.

Job Title: Director of Financial Aid

Department: Financial Aid

Reports To: Vice President for Enrollment Management

FLSA Status: Exempt

Time Requirements: More than 40 Hours per week

Summary Description: The Director of Financial Aid provides leadership and supervision to the staff, functions, and activities of the Office of Financial Aid. This position is responsible for administration of various types of aid, and is also responsible for keeping current with federal, state, NCAA D2, and institutional aid policies. This position provides recommendations to senior management regarding strategic financial aid initiatives, including implementing aid strategy to address enrollment goals and initiatives.  It is an important role in our recruitment and retention of students in enrollment management.  To contribute to our goals, the Director must be able to attend regular training to learn complex rules and policies; apply rules and policies during awarding and auditing of aid; and communicate rules and policies to students, parents, and other constituents.  The Director may also have a specific aid program(s) responsibility and attend regular training to learn best practices and rules and regulations of their specific aid program(s).

Functional Description: 

  • As an intentionally Christian academic community, Christian employees are hired to advance the mission of Carson-Newman as expressed in our strategic plan, Acorns to Oaks.
  • Charged with exploring and executing effective operating efficiency and supervision of office personnel
  • Update and maintain the university’s Federal Program Participation Agreement (PPA) and ECAR
  • Facilitate the completion and submission of the FISAP
  • Implementing strategic use of financial aid dollars to meet the enrollment and retention goals
  • Manage budgets to ensure expenditures are consistent with university goals and priorities
  • Oversee the administration of federal, state, athletic, and institutional financial aid programs
  • Comply with regulations affecting student financial aid
  • Supervise awarding of aid to students
  • Manage the communication of financial aid information
  • Serve as liaison for the office with all constituents
  • Supervise monthly and yearly federal aid reconciliations
  • Supervise federal and private loan processing
  • Supervise the auditing student files for compliance with regulations
  • Supervise the auditing federal and state programs
  • Manage software functionality
  • Review and update policies and procedures  
  • Oversee office reception and communication for enrollment management and assist as needed
  • Oversee counseling for students, parents, and other constituents consistent with policies and procedures, and assist as needed
  • Oversee and counsel students on responsible borrowing
  • Attend enrollment events and recruiting events as required

Supervisory Responsibilities:  Financial Aid Office staff

Education:  Bachelor’s Degree in Counseling, Business, or related field required; Master’s degree preferred.  

Experience:   Minimum five years increasing responsibility and success in a financial aid office with comprehensive aid programs including traditional and non-traditional settings; strong knowledge of financial aid discounting principles to develop flexible and transparent financial aid awarding plans to help meet the university’s enrollment goals; experience in auditing federal and state aid for compliance; and experience working with Ellucian Colleague software system, and Softdocs preferred.

Required Skills:  

  • Self-motivated, results-oriented, and team player
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; curiosity, empathy, and gratitude
  • Must be comfortable to meet with students and parents and communicate effectively
  • Must be comfortable to speak in front of groups, and communicate effectively
  • Organized and detail oriented
  • Ability to accept change rapidly
  • Must maintain highest standards of confidentiality
  • Must have excellent computer skills to include word, excel, and outlook, and ability to learn additional software systems used in financial aid administration
  • Must demonstrate grammatically correct and concise written and oral communication skills.

Physical Demands:  The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Must be able to work on a computer in front of two monitors majority of the day
  • Must be able to answer phones, and communicate electronically and verbally
  • Able to deal with stress
  • Able to work in an area where noise, and distractions may occur
  • Able to travel to financial aid events and work limited weekends, as requested
  • Able to lift 25 lbs., such as boxes of office materials

General Information:  This description is designed to describe the general nature of the job and is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, skills and duties. It is the responsibility of the supervisor for this position to formally outline in writing any performance expectations including specific duties for which the employee assigned to this position will be held accountable in terms of performance evaluation.

Employee Expectations:  The University expects all employees to conduct themselves in a manner that is appropriate for a Christian institution and to be worthy examples in moral conduct and behavior for the students of the University and fellow employees.  

Date of Issue: 09/2009 Date Revised: 02/2022

                                                                                      HRM 111 09/2009